“Dark or white, you are beautiful.” These are the words that well-known whitening brand SkinWhite is trying to instill in its consumers’ minds as they released a new campaign last Thursday (April 4, 2019). To some, it seemed inspirational; while others remain critical of the idea – especially since it came from a brand called SkinWHITE. Manila Millennial was able to see the video in advance and even ask questions to the team behind the campaign a few weeks earlier so we’re here to share our two cents about the ad.
IDEA BEHIND THE AD
One would wonder why a skin whitening brand such as SkinWhite would dare to say that dark skin is beautiful when the idea would backfire on the brand’s sales, but Rachelle Layda, Splash Corporation’s Marketing Manager for Whitening says “it’s all about choice”.
“SkinWhite is a brand that empowers women to choose. A choice to define their own standard of beauty. If you choose to have dark skin, you are beautiful. If you choose to have white skin, you are just as beautiful. The choice is yours, and SkinWhite respects that choice,” she explains.
“White and dark are both beautiful.” confirms Rachel Villanueva, Creative Director of Petch & Partners, the creative agency that created this campaign for SkinWhite. She continues, “It’s about time that dark skin and white skin get the same adoration and acknowledgment.”
Other than skin color, the short video also features inclusivity, no matter what a person’s gender may be. The brand has been perceived as something exclusively for women for a very long time but they believe that using their products won’t make a guy less than the man he is.
“This inclusivity is refreshing and speak volumes, especially at a time when shaming and bullying is prevalent across social media. Bashers and haters abound online with no agenda but to shame in all forms and ways – body-shaming, hair-shaming, race-shaming, gender-shaming, and yes, also skin-shaming. This is precisely the stigma that we wish to change. Skin color should not be about one being better than the other”, adds Pam Sulit, Splash Corporation’s VP for Marketing.
ON BEING KNOWN AS ‘ANTI-MORENA’
“That is precisely the stigma that we want to change. Hence, this campaign was developed… That’s something we feel very strongly about as a brand, it’s really about respecting our consumers’ choice whether they want to whiten or whether they want to remain dark, we see them as beautiful. This is really the new message that we want to bring to people out there na dark or white, you are beautiful and SkinWhite stands by that decision or by that choice that the consumer makes,” explains Sulit.
POSSIBILITY OF LAUNCHING PRODUCTS WITHOUT WHITENING
“Because we are SkinWhite, all our products have whitening ingredients but our products are more than just whitening. Actually, we just launched a new product called Moisture White – it keeps your skin moisturized because of a new ingredient called Hyaluronic Acid. So, our products were designed not just really for people who whiten,” said Pam. “Of course, primarily yes, if people choose to whiten, we have the perfect array of products for them but our products also have other benefits more than just whitening. That people who are not necessarily using it for whitening can use it for other purposes like moisturization, sun protection. So all our products have additional benefits other than just whitening that’s perfect for people who are not really out there to whiten. Try the new Moisture White lotions, it’s great!”
When someone suggested that they should also come up with a product for those who want to get more tanned, SkinWhite representatives openly accepted the idea but without promises. This sounds like something off-brand, but very supportive of their current campaign. We’ll be part of the people who will be waiting for the full turnaround of this brand!
GETTING TWINS AND THE IDEA BEHIND THE SKIN COLOR
“They are all twins. Our production team, they’ve scoured the market to look for twins because it was necessary to have, I guess the perfect way to showcase or dramatize the idea of equality between dark and white is to find twins so that’s why we really made sure that they’re twins,” they explained. “For the purpose of this campaign, we asked them of course one to use SkinWhite to whiten and then we asked the other one, ‘okay, now, tan’. This is for the purpose of the message that we want to say in the campaign.”
“It’s almost like a social experiment. So we purposively told one to use SkinWhite and the other one to tan so we can show in the film that regardless of skin color, especially because they’re twins, we see them as beautiful,” adds Pam.
POSSIBILE IMPACT ON SALES
“More than just selling, this, right now – what we’re doing – is really a movement. It’s a message that the brand wants to stand for. Yes, it might have but we don’t really see that it will have a negative impact on sales. It’s really just empowering the consumers’ choice. So some people who really prefer whitening might hear our message and see and feel that it’s relevant to them and will choose our brand so hopefully from somebody who’s using a competitor brand before will switch to SkinWhite. For people who don’t necessarily want to whiten, if they see this message, they probably will be more open to our products. Hindi lang naman intense whitening ‘yung binebenta namin,” she explained.
“We are more behind sharing this message more to our consumers because we feel that it’s relevant and it’s timely in this age where a lot of negativities are happening online. We feel that this message will stand out and really speak not just to those who want to use whitening but also to those who are really proud of their Morena skin.”
These are just some of the highlights that SkinWhite’s representatives shared with members of the media. All our questions were answered with grace, leading us to understand the idea behind a seemingly controversial ad. Personally, this campaign seemed like a really bold move, especially coming from a brand that has been selling whitening products from the get go.
The video is also hands-down beautifully made and commendable when totally separated from the brand. There has never been an outright claim that DARK IS BEAUTIFUL. And for the statement to come from a skin whitening brand, it can be easy for others to follow suit. And for those who choose that WHITE IS BEAUTIFUL, there’s due acknowledgement that they’re simply taking control of their beauty, too. And why not? You can wear your skin (and have the color altered), whichever way you choose.
What the ad may have lacked as we see now is its ability to quickly explain the brand’s direction within the given minutes; thus the hypocritical response (considering the brand name). Perhaps it would have been accepted by everyone with open arms if the brand launched a product that is completely devoid of whitening components with it, but that’s just our two cents.
We hope this quick Q&A post helped you understand the motive behind the ad! There’s definitely a room for improvement, but we salute them for their bravery in trying to get the message across. If you have more questions, feel free to comment below our post and we’ll try to answer based on what we understood from the media launch.